In a game in which Italy had the lead for most of the time, the Dutch came alongside in the seventh inning and pushed for the walk-off run in the ninth as they beat Italy 2-1.
It was one of those games in which the losing side collected more hits than the winner. Italy got seven hits as the Kingdom of the Netherlands had only four. Still, the Dutch managed to clinch the victory.
Italy took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Alex Sambucci got on base on a single to left field, advanced to second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on what should have been a force out at second as Stijn van der Meer committed a rare error, and scored on a 4-3 groundout by Mattia Mercuri.
Orlando Yntema kept the Italians in check rather well after he allowed that run in the second inning. But with two outs in the sixth inning, he got into a mini jam as Italy got runners in scoring position, but eventually, he got out of the inning without any damage.
Yurendell de Caster proved his value as manager Evert-Jan ‘t Hoen brought him in as a pinch hitter. With two outs and runners on first and second, De Caster singled up the middle to drive in Dudley Leonora from second base to tie the game.
In the top of the eighth inning, Italy became dangerous one more time as it had a runner at third base with only one out. But Lars Huijer then served up the pitch that was hit into an inning-ending double play.
In the ninth, the Dutch pushed for the winning run. Gilmer Lampe drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a passed ball. After Dudley Leonora drew another walk, Gianison Boekhoudt was walked intentionally to load the bases. After Nick Urbanus fouled out, Yurendell de Caster proved his value once more as he singled up the middle to drive in Gilmer Lampe for the walk-off run.
Kevin Kelly, who kept Italy in check in the ninth inning, earned the win. In that one inning he pitched, he did not allow a hit, walked one and struck out one.
Best hitter for team Kingdom of the Netherlands was Yurendell de Caster who went 2 for 2 with two runs batted in.
Thanks to this win, the Dutch still have a shot to reach the final of the Haarlem Baseball Week. Tomorrow they will face Taiwan. The winner of that game will advance to the final to face Japan.